Acute occupational exposure to antineoplastic agents

J Occup Med. 1988 Dec;30(12):984-7. doi: 10.1097/00043764-198812000-00020.


Antineoplastic agents may exhibit effects not only in patients therapeutically exposed, but also in health workers who prepare and administer these drugs. Concern to date has focused on long-term health consequences, including adverse reproductive outcomes, altered immunity, and increased cancer risk. The burgeoning use of these drugs for non-malignant illnesses has enlarged the health worker population at risk beyond oncology personnel to include professionals in immunology, rheumatology, nephrology, and dermatology. We report here two cases of hospital workers who experienced acute adverse health effects resulting from occupational exposure to antineoplastic drugs. We believe such acute events are under-reported, and that they demonstrate the need for physician awareness regarding their management.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Containment of Biohazards
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Female
  • Health Occupations
  • Humans
  • Male


  • Antineoplastic Agents